Video by Ryan Cheong. Music by Machinimasound.
The Dons’ first matchup of the season against the division rival Burlingame Panthers required an additional four minutes following regulation before one team emerged victorious. Even on a late Wednesday evening, a packed crowd anticipated the showdown at the guard position between senior Alex Manu of the Dons and senior Frankie Ferrari of the Panthers.
Throughout the first four quarters, the Dons relentlessly attacked the Panthers’ man-to-man defense and drew 10 fouls on the Panthers in the first half by driving hard to the basket. With 1:40 left on the clock, a clutch three-point play by Manu gave Aragon a 63–61 lead, but Ferrari answered quickly with a double-pump layup off the glass to tie the game. Then, a critical turnover by Ferrari with 22.4 seconds left in the last possession of regulation lead to a chaotic scramble for the ball and sent the game into overtime.
In the extra quarter, Aragon dropped the first basket on a contact layup by Aragon senior guard Trevor Pagaduan. However, the remainder of the game showcased the Panthers’ increased intensity on both sides of the floor, scoring a total of 13 points on seven team fouls by the Dons while restraining the home team to just nine points. There was simply no answer for the Dons on defense against Ferrari, who scored 11 of his 32 points in OT. He also delivered a dagger three with 21.4 seconds remaining in the game. Senior Dons forward Kevin Hahn responded with three of his 20 points off a deep three to bring the game back to within four as the Dons played the foul game until the final horn, with a final score of 76–72 despite a season–high 30 points from Manu.
Aragon now drops to 4–1 for the season and second place in the South Division standings, while Burlingame remains first with a record of 5–0. The Dons have an away quad against Hillsdale on Jan. 23.